Riff Police! Pull Over! #163: Bunch Of Heathens Vs Black Sabbath!

It’s the return of the… wait? what? who? That’s right! After nearly 9 months off for bad behaviour we figured it’s time to bring back our Riff Police feature for the second Thursday in June. Anyone who has read these pages over the last five years knows the drill; we hear a track with a riff that “leans heavily” on that of another and we put it up for Metal heads to debate the rights and wrongs of it for s***s and giggles… and there is no mistaking this one.

Back in 1970 Birmingham Heavy Metal pioneers Black Sabbath dropped their sophomore album “Paranoid“, recorded in London at Regent Studios with Producer Roger Bain. The album is an undoubted classic with huge cuts “Electric Funeral“, “War Pigs“, “Plane Caravan“, “Iron Man” and of course the title track all contained within its 42 minute playing time. It doesn’t take a genius to know just how influential those songs have been in the years since with everyone from Pantera, Machine Head, Therapy?, Megadeth and even Faith No More to name but a few to famously over those songs. Then in the early 90’s “Paranoid” had another run as a household name, this time as one of six cuts whose riff was part of Blizzard Entertainment’s Rock n’ Roll Racing, a vehicular combat-based racing video game of the finest order. There is simply no mistaking that classic Tony Iommi signature riff which is a mainstay of guitar teachers lessons all over the World. So… here it is being used on “Tone” from San Diego Californians Bunch Of Heathens, a band who describe themselves as familiar but different, something which makes perfect sense when it comes to this song!

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